Learning at MESPA Winter Institute 2014

Last spring I was elected President-Elect of MESPA, the Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association. Last week I attended the MESPA Winter Institute for the 15th time as an elementary principal, my first in this new leadership role. Being out of the building is not always easy but Rice Lake has a great team who manage in my absence and the professional learning I received from Institute was phenomenal. I attended three inspiring keynote sessions, five informative breakout sessions, one board of directors meeting, an institute orientation to interact with first-time attendees, the yearly general membership meeting, an amazing awards banquet honoring the accomplishments of colleagues, and two networking receptions. I have to say this Winter Institute was the most engaging, informative, applicable, and motivating MESPA conference I have attended.

Some of my learning from the keynote and breakout sessions was on how “gaming” strategies can be used to engage our students, how important I am in affecting the culture of my school, how I need to share the successes and challenges with our elected officials, supporting and acknowledging the wonderful staff members we have, how to increase math achievement through teaching and learning strategies, how to honor and recognize the accomplishments of our school, how to use Twitter for communication and professional development and, probably the most exciting for me, how to use a new technology that supports augmented reality (a new term for me). I am working on a special staff project which I soon hope to unveil my learning on augmented reality.

I appreciate the opportunity to continue to grow and develop as a leader and learner and my desire is to bring that learning and passion back to Rice Lake to inspire staff members and students to achieve their dreams, contribute to community, and engage in a lifetime of learning.

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